A case of hepatitis A has been diagnosed in a food handler at Vittles restaurant located in Smyrna, Georgia. An investigation found that this employee worked while infectious Wednesday, October 2, 2019. It is rare for restaurant patrons to become infected with hepatitis A virus due to an infected food handler, but anyone who consumed food or drink at Vittles on the above date should contact their healthcare provider to determine if a hepatitis A immunization is needed to prevent the disease. Most healthcare facilities and pharmacies carry the hepatitis A vaccine, but call ahead to ensure availability.
Hepatitis A vaccination is also available at Cobb & Douglas Public Health clinics Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with no out-of-pocket cost, regardless of insurance status (Please bring insurance card if available.)
Anyone who consumed food and/or drink at the restaurant on the date that employee worked is also asked to:
- Monitor their health for symptoms of hepatitis A infection up to 50 days after exposure.
- Wash their hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food.
- Stay at home and contact their healthcare provider immediately if symptoms of hepatitis A infection develop.
Careful hand washing, including under the fingernails, with soap and water, along with vaccination of anyone at risk of infection, will prevent the spread of this disease.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can cause loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, dark-colored urine and light-colored stools. Yellowing of the skin or eyes may also appear. People can become ill up to 50 days after being exposed to the virus.
Hepatitis A is acquired when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. The virus spreads when an infected person does not wash his/her hands adequately after using the toilet or engages in behaviors that increase risk of infection.
For more information on hepatitis A, go to: www.cdc.gov/hepatitis.
About Cobb & Douglas Public Health
Since 1920, Cobb & Douglas Public Health, with our partners, promotes and protects the health and safety of the residents of Cobb and Douglas counties. We work to achieve healthy people in healthy communities by: Preventing epidemics and spread of disease; Protecting against environmental hazards; Preventing injuries; Promoting and encouraging healthy behaviors; Responding to disasters and assisting in community recovery; Assuring the quality and accessibility of health care. By excelling at our core responsibilities, we will assist our residents in living healthier, longer and more rewarding lives.